Image courtesy of The Seattle Times
The New York Times' Dot Earth blog has a post on the false sense of security we in a Developed Nation perceive our safety should a cataclysmic earthquake the size of the recent China quake occur. Yumei Wang, the geohazards team leader for Oregon, warns that "over a thousand schools [in Oregon] are ready to fall in a Sichuan-style quake." That earthquake was 7.8 on the Richter scale.
Back in 2001, as a senior in high school, I experienced the Nisqually Earthquake centered around Olympia, Washington. That one was 6.8 magnitude, and easily traveled the 120 miles to my high school in Astoria, causing it to sway and buck like the school was suddenly a surf board in a wave pool. Astoria High School was made of reinforced brick, probably the weakest building material (and most dangerous) to suffer an earthquake. Luckily, the quake was over quickly and caused very little damage and, after the quake passed and everyone became unfrozen in position (the Earthquake Alarm came on after the quake was through; there was definitely no diving under desks like they taught us to do) we all filed outside. But I do remember Ms. Marconeri, an ornery witch who also passed the time as a computer room monitor, pushing students out of her way as she scrambled out the door.
But, as students, we expected as much from a witch.
How dare China export toxic toys? Turns out the U.S. does the same.
The Sacramento Bee reports that the U.S. goverenment has long okayed the export of toxic and other dangerous consumer products that it banned or recalled for sale in the U.S.
"Though recalls coordinated by the CPSC of Chinese-made goods have made headlines recently, for decades the federal agency has allowed American-based companies to export products deemed unsafe here," the Bee reports.
"Our agency, through our governing statues, cannot claim much moral superiority over the Chinese," the paper quoted U.S. Consumper Products Safety Commissioner Thomas Moore. "It is somewhat hypocritical."
Took yesterday off from the blog for, you know, writing purposes. The print paper can be demanding. Crazy old media. (I'd insert an emoticon here, but isn't that just so obvious?)
1. Wine in the news. Saves lives in Greece (though the story is tragic) and especially in the Willamette Valley, heralds global warming.
3. Pollution kills. Watch out for that rising economy thing, China.
4. More "Californication." Actually, I got nothing against Cali, but plans to screw the lower Columbia and Coos Bay don't make me happy.
5. Bush may be an idiot. But he's a loyal one!
6. Got art? Got debt? If you're a college, sell off that art! Or maybe not.
7. Stupid city ordinance. I kind of fell in love with the blog posts about xeriscaping here. (But if you're into dahlias, you'll also be happy.) Extra cool: It's by Ketzel Levine. She lives in Portland. I heard a rumor that she used to work at KLCC, but I can't find any documentation of that. Yes? No? Readers?
8. Fear and photos. A bad combination for civil liberties and common sense.
9. Idaho is a gorgeous state. But one of its senators ain't lookin' too good right now.
10. Were you awake for the lunar eclipse?
This is what it looked like in San Francisco.
1. What has the federal government done for New York lately? Perhaps because of its semi-Republican mayor, NY gets millions to help relieve traffic congestion.
3. Those are my ancestors, thank you very much! "Bronze Age man was a bit of a boozer."
"There were up to 4500 breweries in Ireland in the Bronze Age, which means it was the most widespread brewing industry in prehistory in the world," Mr Moore said.
4. What's up in Turkey? Looks like a religious-secular clash.
(Plus an interview on "the state of science in Muslim countries," just in case Turkey becomes one.)
5. Holy suitcases stuffed with cash, Batman! International conspiracy between Argentina and Venezuela?
6. Oh yes, let's give a squirming, lying creep control over states' death penalty cases, shall we?
7. Stop buying plastic crap for your kids. Even Mattel says so.
8. After Dick Cheney gets out of the way, what will happen to the dams on the Klamath River? The O weighs in.
9. When good companies go bad. Oh, Jones Soda, we knew you when.
10. Incroyable! Les FranÃ§ais aiment Ratatouille! (Er, the article is in English; I'd link to the one in French, but those bÃ¢tardes want 6 â‚¬ a month. And BugMeNot can't help b/c it's pay-per-view. Zut alors!.)